Waupun Faces Housing Shortage During Pandemic

(Waupun) Housing availability in Waupun is reaching an all-time low, thanks in part to the pandemic. The issue is threatening the city’s hope to attract new workers into the area. At a recent city council meeting local realtor and owner of My Property Shop of Waupun, Jodi Mallas, explained the reality of the numbers. Mallas says currently the city only has one single family detached home on it’s own lot for sale and two semi-attached family homes listed at $285-thousand-dollars, which is pushing the limit of what is considered workforce housing. 

Mallas says that the shortage has driven up home prices, and has caused some buyers to waive contingencies like home inspections and radon tests. She says this is happening at a time when area employers need affordable housing for younger families looking to enter the workforce, referring to the local prisons which are seeing a staffing shortage. According to Mallas, for prospective new hires there are no rentals or houses available at this time. 

Waupun currently has two semi-attached homes under construction and two vacant lots with plans awaiting buyers, but Mallas says the pandemic has had an effect on new construction as well.  She says with increased lumber and building supply costs the prices are pushing to over $400-thousand-dollars for new construction homes. On top of this, Mallas explains that shortages in building materials is pushing construction out six months. This combined with a lack of truck drivers and workers to make new building materials could push new home construction out even farther. 

Waupun is just one of many communities across Wisconsin and the US experiencing a similar pandemic related housing shortage even as interest rates drop nationwide.